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Washington Takes another Step Back in Relations with Cuba

By Sergio Alejandro Gómez on November 9, 2017

Washington’s announcement of new measures which restrict travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba and business with certain state entities, are proof of the “serious setback” in bilateral relations that has taken place under the Trump administration, stated Josefina Vidal, director general for the United States at Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, November 8.

According to the diplomat, the regulations announced earlier that day, and which came into force on November 9, after they were published in the U.S. Federal Register, “include a tightening of the blockade and the prohibition of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba.”

On November 8, the U.S. Departments of State, the Treasury and Commerce announced the implementation of measures outlined by Trump last June 16 in Miami, where he met with the most reactionary sectors of the Cuban-American community in Florida.

The regulations follow on from the National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba, which outlines Washington’s new direction in its relations with Havana.

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Puerto Rican Independence Activist Oscar López Arrives in Cuba

November 13, 2017

Puerto Rican independence leader Oscar Lopez has arrived in Cuba for the first time where he immediately thanked the Cuban people and their leaders for their support for his release from prison.

At the José Martí international airport Lopez Rivera was met by Fernando González Llort, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), with whom the Puerto Rican patriot shared a cell for 4 years in the U.S prison in Terre Haute Indiana. Those years came in the midst of his almost 36 years of unjust imprisonment that finally ended when he was pardoned by Barack Obama in the final days of his presidency.

In a statement to the media, Lopez Rivera said he intends to enjoy as much of his time on the island as possible greeting the people of Cuba whom he feels so close to.

When referring to the current situation in Puerto Rico, he recalled that it is a country colonized for more than 100 years that on top of that is now suffering from the effects of hurricane Maria. Lopez Rivera stated that the recovery from the devastation of the storm is being hampered by neglect and a lack of interest and support from the US government.

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The U.S. blockade is the main obstacle to scientific development in Cuba

By Yenia Silva Correa on November 6, 2017

The U.S. blockade also affects the University of Havana. Photo: Yander Zamora

The United States economic, financial, and commercial blockade of Cuba has caused around 1.5 million USD in losses to the country’s higher education sector in the last year alone.

This figure includes increased costs associated with sourcing supplies from distant markets, problems with bank transfers, lost revenue, and obstacles to accessing globally renowned publications.

One of the most significant consequences of the policy is the technological blockade, which forces Cuba to purchase technologies and equipment from distant markets such as China, resulting in significantly higher shipping costs.

Meanwhile, the blockade also prevents Cuban researchers from accessing over 200 websites, and makes it difficult for international experts and professionals to travel to the island, given the extraterritorial nature of the policy, which also limits Cuba from exporting its services and obtaining vitals sources of revenue.

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Once Again the World Stands with Cuba!

The International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity congratulates the government and the Cuban people for their emphatic victory yesterday at the General Assembly of the United Nations in which 191 countries voted overwhelmingly for the 26 time, in favor of the Resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba”. Only two countries voted against it: the United States and its satellite Israel.

We reject the disrespectful and interventionist statement of Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, that was cloaked in dishonesty and does not reflect the sentiments of the people of the U.S., the majority of whom support an end to the blockade. Her words were not only offensive to Cuba but all member countries of the General Assembly. In her talk she insulted and mocked the great majority of the nations of the planet dismissing their overwhelming support for Cuba and calling the vote meaningless “political theater.”

Her intervention not only revealed a new height of imperial arrogance and ignorance, but the absolute disdain for the entire international community. Large countries such as Russia, China, India to the small Jamaica, not only voted against the blockade but had memorable interventions, that brought together the global political spectrum from the right, center and left, to express the need to end a failed policy that causes enormous suffering to the Cuban people and affects people of the United States as well.

We denounce the arrogance and interference of the United States that pretends to have the right to decide about the life, the economy and the form of government of the small neighboring Cuba that forged its definitive independence on January 1, 1959. A historic act that the empire has never forgiven them for.

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“We will persevere, with the consensus of our people and especially the patriotic commitment of the youngest Cubans”

By Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla on November 2, 2017

Full text of speech by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, on the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba,” in United Nations headquarters, New York, November 1, 2017

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Mr. President;

Your Excellencies permanent representatives;

Distinguished delegates;

U.S. citizens and Cubans resident in the United States who are present in this hall:

I would like to express to the people and government of the United States; Mayor Bill De Blasio; Governor Andrew Cuomo; and other authorities in New York; as well as its citizens and especially families of the victims, our most heartfelt condolences, in the name of the Cuban people and government, for the terrorist attack which occurred yesterday afternoon.

I also express our sincere condolences to the peoples and government of Argentina and Belgium.

Mr. President:

I express the most energetic condemnation of the disrespectful, offensive, and interventionist statements made by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations against Cuba and against the Cuban government, a few minutes ago.

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